ECS has recently introduced a new mini-ITX motherboard based on Intel’s H110 Express chipset. This LGA1151 motherboard is named H110I-C4P, and it was designed to be fully compatible with Intel’s 6th generation Core, Pentium and Celeron processors. As far as power is concerned, the board uses a mix of 24-pin ATX and 4-pin CPU power connectors, while the CPU conditioning is taken care of by a 4-phase VRM. Two DDR4 DIMM slots support up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2133 memory, which should definitely be more than enough for the average user. Clearly, this is not a top-tier motherboard aimed at professionals, but it can still be good enough for basic gaming if you’re not too picky.
When it comes to expansion slots, we’re looking at one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and an M.2 2242 slot with a bandwidth of 20 Gb/s. It looks like storage connectivity is based on four SATA 6 Gb/s connectors while the display connectivity is ensured by one DisplayPort and one HDMI port. Other highlights include gigabit Ethernet, a 6-channel HD audio solution and four USB 3.0 ports. Given how light it is on features, we shouldn’t expect this ECS motherboard to cost more than $80, in which case it could definitely become appealing to budget-conscious users.
When we here 8Pack, then we know that it is followed by something great and it is no different this time around. Overclockers UK introduced the new Asteroid Mini-ITX gaming system by 8Pack – an impressive and very powerful system. The all-new extreme mini PC is designed and built by Ian 8Pack Parry, one of the best-known overclockers in the world. The hardware has been handpicked and tuned for only the best experience.
The 8Pack Astroid isn’t just a powerful system, it is also a beautiful one with its black and red case. It is also built with hard-line tubing for the custom liquid cooling loop that gives it an even better over-all look. The PC is also supplied with a flight case as standard that has been manufactured for portability, allowing the user to also pack their peripherals with the PC.
So by now you’re probably curious what kind of hardware powers this tiny monster. At the heart, it has an Intel Core i7 6700K Skylake processor that has been overclocked to 4.7GHz and the base configuration comes with 8GB memory that has been overclocked to 3866MHz. The graphics part is covered by a Nvidia GTX 980Ti graphics card that also has been overclocked out of the box, in this case to 1450MHz or more. The operating system gets a 512GB solid state drive while there also is a 1TB SSD for files and your game collection. All this is powered by a 1000W 80Plus Titanium rated Super Flower power supply. Wow.
In every single 8Pack Asteroid gaming PC, there is always expert craftsmanship with cherry picked hardware and deep testing. With a setup like this, you won’t run into any bottlenecks and get maximum performance from the hardware without any compromise.
As with all Overclockers UK systems, you can also customize the specification away from the standard setup in order to get just the right match for your needs. While many might go for a memory upgrade, the rest is pretty much solid. So what will all this cost you, you might ask. It starts at £3989.99 which is a hefty sum, but it is also a hefty system.
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti overclocked (Option to upgrade to Titan X)
Memory: Team Group Xtreem 8GB 3866Mhz (Option to upgrade to 16GB 3733Mhz)
Processor: Intel Core i7 6700K overclocked to 4.7+
Storage: Two Samsung 850 Evo Series Solid State Drives. 512GB for OS, and 1TB for games
PSU: 1000W Superflower PSU
Case: Custom Parvum 8Pack Edition case with built in water cooling reservoir
Fan controller: Aquaero 5
Flight Case included
While the price of almost £4000 might have put you off a little bit, we got to remember that we don’t just buy the hardware here – this is a little piece of art and it comes with unparalleled support. As a customer of this system, you ‘ll be given 8Packs mobile phone number to contact him if there were any issues or support queries – labour free for 5 years. That isn’t a service that you’ll find anywhere else.
Below you’ll find a lot more images of this beautiful built system and all its details, so have fun drooling and imagining how great it would look on your desk right now.
Fractal Design are one of the best chassis manufacturers in the world, having created a stunning range of products over the years, as well as branching out into the world of PSUs, CPU coolers and more. Today they look set to dominate the living room, with the release of their Node 202 mini-ITX chassis. What makes this one so special is that it is designed to house a high-end system, but maintains that slim form factor, allowing you to put it under your TV or on your desk with ease; perfect for a gaming system/steambox or a HTPC configuration.
“The Node 202 is the ultimate PC case for those looking for a beautifully designed, compact chassis that can house a capable gaming build. This small footprint is an intelligently built unit where extreme detail was placed into the design phase to get every line and spec in perfect harmony. With both horizontal and vertical orientation possibilities, the Node 202 can be placed anywhere in the house. The sleek design makes it very attractive next to the TV in the living room or on your desk in the office.”
With a small footprint and a volume of just 10.2 liters, it’s hard to belive that this chassis can house a pair of 2.5″ hard drives, motherboard, CPU cooler, PSU and more impressive of all, a pretty large graphics card.
Mini ITX motherboard compatibility
2 – 2.5″ SSD unit positions
2 expansion slots
2 – 120mm optional fan positions in graphics card chamber
CPU coolers up to 56 mm in height
PSU compatibility: SFX PSUs up to 130mm long
Graphics card compatibility: Maximum dimension of graphics card is 310x145x47mm (LxHxD)
Can be placed both vertical and horizontal position
3 dust filters included (for CPU, GPU and PSU)
Case volume: 10.2 litres
Colors available: Black
Case dimensions – Horizontal (WxHxD): 377 x 82 x 330 mm
Case dimensions – Horizontal, with feet/protrusions/screws (WxHxD): 377 x 88 x 332 mm
Case dimensions – Vertical, with feet/protrusions/screws (WxHxD): 125 x 385 x 332 mm
Net weight: 3.5 kg
Package dimensions (WxHxD): 145 x 463 x 388 mm
Package weight: 5.2kg
To make the build even easier, the model we have today comes with that rather fantastic Integra SFX 450W 80 Plus Gold power supply pre-installed, meaning that you can get your system up and running a lot quicker, and that 450W delivery is going to be more than enough for even the most demanding CPU/GPU combinations.
“The Integra SFX 450W PSU that comes inclusive with the enclosure provides stable power to the most demanding systems. It comes with customized connectors and tailored cables perfectly fitted for use within the Node 202, contributing to hassle-free installation and cable management.”
80PLUS® Bronze certification
80mm, temperature controlled fan
Maximum operating temperature at full load: 50°C (50°C @ 100%)
Fully Intel Haswell C6/C7 compliant
3 years warranty
OPP / OVP / UVP / SCP / OCP Protection
Can be placed both vertical and horizontal position
100,000 hours life expectancy (MTBF)
SFX 3.3 PSU specification compliance
ErP 2013 compliant (<0.5W system power draw)
Colors available: Black
Unit measurements (WxHxD): 125 x 64 x 100 mm
Net weight: 1.0 kg
So specs and things aside, let’s move on to the actual hardware. First up, we can see the packaging is fairly simple, with a big sticker on the front letting us know we’ve got the Integra SFX 450W included in the chassis, as well as a handy 3-year warranty.
Around the back, there is a fantastic technical breakdown of each component, showing you exactly which features you’re going to get from this build.
First things out of the box, a simple user guide, warranty booklet and general product information.
You’ll also find a nice little box of accessories.
This includes a bundle of cable ties, all the usual fitting screws, and some stick-on rubber feet.
One of the most important components is this adaptor for the PCI-E slot, allowing the GPU to lay parallel to the motherboard, allowing for a slimmer chassis design.
Finally, there’s a slot-in vertical mount, giving you another great way to display your system.
It’s very sturdy and comes with four rubber grip feet on the base to prevent it from sliding around.
Now onto the best part, the chassis its self! It’s certainly nice and slim, and should blend easily into your AV setup; if that’s where you wanted it at least. There’s a little bit of ventilation down the left side, giving some extra airflow to the graphic card area.
Down the right side, a lot more ventilation, giving air intake to the motherboard and PSU mounting area, with even more ventilation on the top for heat exhaust from any CPU cooler you’re using.
The finish is sublime, a mostly plastic exterior, but with a soft matte finish that gives it a premium look and feel.
Aside from the subtle Fractal Design logo, you’ll also find all the usual ports and controls down here. One little touch that I very much like is the black USB 3.0 ports, as they’re visually less distracting than the usual blue ones, and that can’t be understated for those wanting a clean-looking HTPC build.
Around the back, we’ve got the motherboard I/O cut out, two expansion slots, and the PSU pass through port.
The PSU actually mounts on the front right corner, but an internal cable means you only have to connect the PSU power at the back, where you can easily hide the cables out of sight.
On the base of the chassis, a lot more ventilation. There’s a small vent on the right, allowing airflow to the PSU, as well as a long vent on the left for the PSU air intake.
The NZXT Manta is here at last! Just a few weeks ago we were lucky enough to meet NZXT at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, where the company unveiled their latest mini-ITX chassis to the world. The Manta is unlike anything else NZXT has done before, taking inspiration from the world of supercars and bringing sweeping aerodynamic curves and creating a chassis that looks unlike anything that has gone before it; but is it any good? That’s what we hope to find out.
New manufacturing technology offers unparalleled build quality
Elegant, curved steel paneling and window
Double the cable management space
Dual 280mm liquid cooling support
Kraken X61-ready with push/pull capabilities
Integrated PSU shroud for a beautifully clean build
Fully filtered, easy-to-remove intake
The Mini-ITX chassis market is big business these days, with many users wanting stylish and compact gaming systems for their bedrooms, home office, HTPC, LAN events and so much more. With single GPU gaming systems being more popular, partly due to lackluster dual-GPU support by many modern games, mini-ITX motherboards are becoming increasingly popular. With the Manta having room for a large GPU of up to 363mm, plenty of storage bays, and a full ATX PSU, it’s certainly ticking all the right boxes.
It may be suited for a smaller motherboard, but the Manta is a little bigger than most, giving it exceptional cable routing space, room for a 280mm water cooler in the front and top, and room for a PSU shroud for a clean interior design.
As you can see, the chassis doesn’t look anything like what we’re used to seeing in terms of design. The left side panel curves up at the bottom front edge, and bulges out slightly giving it a fantastic curved look. I know it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste, but I think it’s great to see something a little different. I could joke that it looks like an H440 that’s put on weight, but it’s also considerably shrunk down in overall size compared to the H440; it looks seriously cool! Thought the side panel, you can see the PSU shroud, which comes with an LED backlit NZXT logo, as well as getting a great interior view of the rest of the chassis.
The right side panel isn’t exactly standard either, following the same sweeping curves of the left panel, but with one added benefit, it’s size and shape provide double the cable management of most chassis and that’s certainly no bad thing!
The front panel is just as curvy as the rest, but you’ll also notice how the side panels, top panel, and the front panel don’t quite join up. This is to provide a lot of filtered ventilation, as smaller chassis can often run a little hotter, but that’s not going to be an issue here, as cooling is one of the strongest features on the Manta. Plus, the floating side panel effect just adds to the overall uniqueness of the chassis.
The side panel sweeping upwards at the front leaves it with a large opening at the base of the front panel, albeit one that’s slightly out of sight. This provides even further airflow to the front panel cooling.
Around the back of the Manta, you’ll find a fan mount for a 140mm fan mount, which comes with elongated screw holes to allow you to adjust the height; this is particularly useful for AIO water coolers as it can greatly increase compatibility. There’s also an integrated light for the rear I/O on the motherboard, which is a big improvement on the old LED system we’ve seen on previous NZXT chassis, mostly because it’s going to be a lot brighter thanks to multiple lights and it’s directly over the motherboard I/O. There are a few thumb screws for the side panels, pretty straight forward stuff there, and if you look further down, an opening at the bottom to allow better airflow to the underside PSU air intake.
There’s a good size dust filter for the PSU, which can be removed from the back for quick and easy maintenance.
The top of the chassis has a slight indentation, helping further emphasize those curves and lines.
Aside from that, you’ll find a fairly straight forward I/O with a pair of USB 3.0 and HD audio jacks.
The power indicator is towards the front edge and a master power button on the left side; pretty much everything you need.
On the base of the chassis, you can see how that airflow channel is going to help bring cool air through to the PSU and front panels while the dust filter will help ensure your system stays as cool and clean as possible. Those feet are super strong, wide and have anti-slip/anti-vibration rubber strips, so the chassis is going to be nice and stable.
Here’s a closer look at the PSU dust filter, easily removed, washed and reinstalled.
Fractal Design have a long history of creating high-end, very high-quality products, but in recent years they’ve also turned their attention to a more consumer friendly end of the market, with more affordable, yet still very stylish and well-made products, such as the Core 500 we have in the eTeknix office today.
“The Core 500 is the perfect PC case for those looking for a small, compact chassis that lets you build your computer without compromising on component selection.”
Designed for mini-ITX motherboards, but still offering support for a large GPU, a standard ATX PSU and more, the Core 500 is bound to appeal to those wanting a compact workstation or gaming system. With prices around £50 here in the UK, it’s also going to appeal to those who don’t have a huge amount of money to spend on their chassis, leaving more of the budget to focus on better performing internal components.
Brushed aluminum-look front panel with a sleek, three-dimensional textured finish
Very compact case with a volume of only 19.5 liters
Extremely good water cooling support for its size, supporting radiators up to 280mm long
Smart drive bay placement allows you to fit up to three 3.5″drives, three 2.5″ and one 5.25″ drive simultaneously
Supports Mini-ITX motherboards, ATX power supplies and graphics cards up to 310mm in length
Supports tall CPU cooler towers, up to 170mm in height
Featuring a Fractal Design Silent Series R3 140mm rear exhaust fan for great cooling
Big magnetic filters for the side and top air intake together with a PSU filter ensures a dust free interior
There’s certainly enough room for some high-end hardware in this chassis, with ample drive mounts, a 5.25″ bay and more.
Mini ITX, Mini DTX motherboard compatibility; NOTE: motherboards with SATA ports that are angled 90 degrees may conflict with installation in the case.
2 expansion slots
3 – 3.5″ HDD positions
3 – 2.5″ dedicated SSD/HDD unit positions
1 – 5.25″ bay (removable)
CPU coolers up to 170mm in height
ATX PSUs, up to 170mm in length (non modular PSUs); ATX PSUs, up to 160mm in length (modular PSUs)
Graphics cards up to 310 mm in length (note: graphics cards longer than 170 mm will not fit with PSUs that exceed 170 mm)
Colours available: Black
Case volume: 19.5 liters
Case dimensions (WxHxD): 250 x 203 x 367 mm
Case dimensions – with feet/screws/protrusions: 250 x 213 x 380 mm
Net weight: 4.4 kg
Package dimensions (WxHxD): 285 x 335 x 450 mm
Package weight: 5.3 kg
What’s interesting is that while the chassis does come fitted with an R3 fan in the back, you can still add more fans to the top, and even a decent size AIO cooler.
Rear: 1 – 120/140 mm fan (included is 1 Fractal Design Silent Series R3 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
Top: 2 – 120/140 mm fan (not included)
Water cooling compatibility (note: not compatible with AIO water cooler units that feature the pump on the radiator):
Top – 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators. (Thickness limitation of 100 mm for both radiator + fan) (240 and 280 mm radiators require removal of the ODD bay) (280mm radiator can be maximum 325mm in length)
Rear – 120 mm radiator (not compatible with the rear 3.5″ HDD position)
Dust filters: Magnetic filters on side and top panel, PSU filter
First impressions of the chassis are positive, as it has a really good weight to it, feels pretty solid and as is always the case for Fractal Design products, it has a flawless black paint job and matching black plastic trim.
There’s a huge strip of ventilation down the left side, perfect for airflow to your graphics card, and there’s a little more ventilation on the right side, which is where your PSU will exhaust, as the PSU is mounted towards the front of the chassis.
The front panel is fairly straight forward, with the 5.25″ drive bay at the top. Not a lot of people use the 5.25″ drive these days, but it’s still nice to have one, especially on a chassis that’s likely to end up under your TV. There’s some ventilation towards the front, with a vertical strip on the left and right edges, which are angled to break up what would otherwise be a bland and boxey design.
The front I/O has all the basics, with two USB ports for you flash pens, controllers or Wi-Fi dongle, as well as easily accessed audio jacks for your headset.
Around the back, you’ll see there are four thumb screws holding the single piece left, top and right side panel component in place. The power cable pass-through is in the bottom left, which leads through to the PSU mount at the front edge of the chassis. There’s a high-quality 140mm fan pre-installed, which is certainly a welcome addition, but there are optional 120mm mounts there if you need them. Finally, we have a pair of expansion slots which come fitted with reusable ventilated metal covers.
On the base, a slide out dust filter for the PSU, as well as four durable feel with anti-vibration/slip rubber washers on the bottom.
Picking the right CPU cooler for your system can be a tricky task as you have to balance your budget, the ergonomics of your chassis, the TDP of your chip, aesthetics, what kind of system performance you want to achieve and acoustics too. That’s a lot to consider and there’s certainly a huge amount of choice out there to find something that suits your needs, but it’s still a bit of a minefield. The latest cooler from legendary manufacturer Alpenföhn has been designed for the increasingly popular Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX system build market. People are making a lot of compact gaming PCs for their living room, bedroom, LAN gaming events and more, so it’s only right that we should have more coolers that are suited to building a gaming system in smaller chassis.
The ATLAS may be tiny, but it still packs an impressive 5 x 6mm heat pipes into a twin-tower and dual-fan configuration, which gives it an impressive max TDP of 200W! That’s a lot of cooling potential from a small form factor cooling. Of course, a lot of people are jumping on the AIO market for cooling these days, but there are a lot of benefits to air cooling too and even more so, there are some people who just don’t want to move to water. Either way, it’s going to be interesting to see what this little powerhouse can do on our test bench.
As you can see from the specifications, the cooler sits nice and low, at the cost of being quite wide and fat for its form factor. The cooler is just tall enough to house a pair of 92mm fans, and while this form factor of fan is often associated (in my experience) with higher RPM and a noisy output, these promise to go as low as 400RPM, but still manage good airflow and low noise, which is something we’re eager to test.
The box is quite large, which I found funny as when I first opened it, I was expecting a much bigger cooler. There’s a nice stylish picture on the front of the box, as well as details of the main spec (see above) around the box.
The size of the box quickly becomes apparent, there’s quite a treasure trove of bits and bobs to be found inside. The mounting kit includes AMD and Intel brackets, a support bar, fan clips, back plate, retention screws and rubber caps, a tube of thermal paste and Molex to fan adaptors; literally everything you’ll need and more!
Both of the fans are of a very nice quality, which all black fittings and cables, as well as some durable black rubber braiding on the cables.
Both fans come with 4-pin headers, as well as built-in Y-splitters, handy if you’re short on fan connectors on your motherboard. Even if you are short on connectors, at least you’ll also find Molex adaptors in the box.
The Cooler is really nicely designed, with a very cool looking fin-stack that is full of aggressive angles and shapes. Sure, these shapes do add to the aesthetic, but don’t be fooled, as they’re primary purpose is to increase the surface area and push the airflow around the heat pipes, helping to better dissipate heat.
The cooler is very nice to look at and it’s impressive to see those heat pipes packed in so neatly while maintaining such a short form factor. There’s room to mount one of the fans on either side of the cooling towers, allowing you to best suit the fan configuration to the space within your chassis.
There’s sturdy and quite thick block on the base, giving plenty of room to hold all five heat pipes together and this gives a good even coverage of heat pipe over the entire CPU block too, which should help cooling performance a lot.
The heat pipes stick out at the top of the cooler, but the top plate has been given a good polish, giving it a shiny and appealing look.
The bottom of the block is finishing to a mirror shine and is super flat and smooth; this should ensure a clean and even fit across your CPU of choice.
We’re big fans of Raijintek here at eTeknix, time and time again they’ve delivered stunning products at very attractive prices and that’s something I’m hoping to see yet again with their latest product, the Raijintek Styx.
The Styx features the very popular Micro-ATX form factor, meaning it’s great for a compact gaming system or workstation, as it’ll hold a high-end motherboard, water cooling, an ATX power supply and two graphics cards, giving it a lot of room for everything from a budget build, right up to a high-performance gaming monster. It also features a range of colours, as well as aluminium construction, so there’s no doubt that it’ll look great in a wide range of environments.
“STYX, RAIJINTEK’s new aluminum Micro-ATX case in 2015, has a remarkable elegant appearance design and high compatibility with your PC system. STYX is compatible with regular/ standard ATX Power supply, max. 280mm VGA card, 180mm height CPU cooler. STYX provides best cooling solution, 120mm fan pre-installed at rear, optional 2*120mm fan on top /side, optional 120mm fan at bottom and max. 240mm radiator cooling on top/side. Moreover, STYX offer a drive bay for Slim DVD on side. Entirely black coated inside, aluminum color hair-silk anodized appearance, STYX satisfies not only your request of looking for elegant taste, but simultaneously satisfies the joy of installing a performing case.” – Raijintek
All the basics are taken care of, with room for a good amount of storage drives, as well as a slim ODD, graphics cards of up to 280mm and CPU coolers of up to 180mm.
Cooling support is great, but keep in mind that a top mounted radiator could conflict with a multi-GPU configuration, so be sure to doubt check compatibility before doing so.
Check out this brief introduction from Raijintek, which shows you some of the great features you can expect to find in their new Styx chassis.
The Raijintek Styx immediately impressed, with gorgeous brushed aluminium panels on all sides, giving it a sleek and premium look. The left side panel is a blank panel, as the motherboard is mounted inverted, so this would be the “rear” panel behind the motherboard. The side panels are held in place with four small screws on the side, not the easiest to get into in a hurry, but at least you don’t have the large screws sticking out at the back.
The right side panel has a lot more going on, with a slim ODD slot on the bottom-front edge, which is discrete enough that you may not have seen it, had I not mentioned it. There’s also a nice side panel window, which is positioned so that you can see the motherboard, CPU cooler and rear fan mounting.
The front panel looks just as gorgeous as the side panels, with a nicely placed power button with LED trim at the top and a small Raijintek logo at the bottom; I must admit, this would look great sitting next to a TV unit as a HTPC.
There is all kinds of stuff going on around the back! At the top, you’ll find two routing grommets, which can be used to expand the water cooling or simply as a cable passthrough. There’s also a PSU cable pass-through here, as the PSU mounts towards the front of the chassis. Below all that, you’ll find five ventilated expansion slot covers, which come fitted with a clip-on screw guard.
The top of the Styx improves on the (fairly) similar Metis Mini-ITX chassis design, adding a large filtered air vent, perfect for water cooling, fans, or just improving the passive airflow.
On the base, even more ventilation for bottom mounted cooling, as well as the very important PSU mounting space. There are four rubber feet, which will help reduce vibration, but also provide a nice bit of ground clearance for the PSU exhaust.
ID-cooling are a relatively new player in the PC component market, but so far, we’ve seen some great cooling products from them and I’m eager to see how their first ever chassis stacks up against the competition. With a competitive price and promising high-end build quality courtesy of its pure aluminium casing, the T60-SFX sound like an attractive product for those looking at a mini-ITX gaming system.
Space is limited inside this chassis, but with the rise in popularity of mini-ITX form factor graphics cards, SFX power supplies and more, fitting a competent gaming system into a chassis of this size isn’t as tricky as it used to be. You’ll find there’s just enough room for a few hard drives, a reasonably sized graphics card and, of course, a mini-ITX motherboard and SFX PSU.
First impressions are very good, as the chassis is made from thick aluminium panels with a stealthy matte finish. The side panel is held in place by four large thumb screws, allowing for tool-free access to the interior. There’s also a good amount of ventilation, some to the rear of the PSU and a strip at the bottom that will help the GPU.
The same panel design around the back, helping further enhance the overall airflow, but no doubt sacrificing some sound proofing qualities at the same time.
The front panel houses even more ventilation at the bottom, as well as that rather funky looking power button and some USB 3.0 ports at the top. One glaring omission, however, is the lack of HD audio jacks, so you’ll have to rely on your motherboard’s rear I/O connectors.
Around the back, you can quickly appreciate how small this chassis is by looking at the motherboard I/O cut-out! There’s a small 92mm fan at the back to help with cooling, a pair of expansion slots and finally, the AC passthrough cable, as the PSU mounts towards the front of the chassis.
There’s even more ventilation on the base of the chassis, which is a good thing for your GPU considering the small capacity of the chassis and the fact it only supports a single fan, so you’ll be relying on passive airflow for the most part.
Are you ready to take your big screen gaming to the next level? The desktop gaming market may be booming, but there’s a big demand for the something small, systems that is. Having a high-end gaming PC under your TV is very much a possibility, but few make compact cases as well as Silverstone and their new Milo ML08 looks set to dominate those smaller spaces. Under your TV, perhaps you’re limited on desktop space, or you want something portable for LAN gaming, this chassis is just the right size for all of them, but more importantly, it doesn’t compromise on the size of the GPU.
“Based on the excellent RAVEN Z RVZ02 chassis, the Milo ML08 is a super slim Mini-ITX console case with highly capable accommodations. With a volume of only 12 liters, this case is small yet easy to assemble when compared to other slim cases in the same class. There is plenty of room for a powerful graphics card up to 13 inches in length while tool-less drive cages make assembly quicker than ever.” says Silverstone.
As you can see, it’s pretty well equipped, but the most important aspect is the fact that despite only being 87mm deep, this chassis can house a full-size graphics card of up to 13″ long, which is pretty amazing; you’ll see how it does that in a moment.
We’ve seen impressive mini-ITX chassis from Silverstone in the past, and it’s no secret that the Milo is based around a very similar interior design as their popular RVZ02, but with a much less aggressive exterior design.
“With clever space utilization and engineering, two major heat sources are separated via the chassis’ main chamber so CPU and graphics card can each have their own airflow path. Despite its diminutive size, the ML08 is a remarkably versatile case that can be used anywhere from being a compact desktop workstation (in vertical orientation) to a living console or HTPC (in horizontal orientation). There are even optional models of ML08 with integrated handle, making them effortlessly portable and perfect for any slim PC build.” says Silverstone.
In the box, you’ll find a nice selection of bits and bobs, such as the user manual, fitting components, vertical stand and the riser cards.
There two adaptors are what allow the GPU to fit in such a slim chassis, by allowing the GPU to lay parallel to the motherboard, helping save a huge amount of space.
First impressions of the Milo are very promising, a powder black finish gives it an almost stealthy quality, which is good when you’ve got it sitting under your TV, as a bright chassis could be visually distracting. There’s a huge ventilation panel on the left side, with a clip-on cover/dust filter for easy maintenance.
A similar story on the other side, with another large cover for ventilation. This is a slim chassis for high-end hardware, so airflow is very important.
The covers pop off easily enough, giving you a quick and easy way to clean the filters.
There’s extra ventilation on the narrow side of the chassis.
And there’s even more around the other side.
The front panel is nicely designed with a subtle, yet rather stylish cover and a sliding port cover in the center.
Slide the cover over and you’ll find a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD audio jacks, as well as the power and reset buttons.
Around the back, you’ll find even more ventilation on the top edge, as well as a little more below the AC power pass-through connector. There’s the usual motherboard I/O cut-out, but you can now also see how the GPU is going to be situated next to the motherboard.
The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX chassis is a great little case, it features exceptional build quality matched with a very unique design that is perfect for mini-ITX gaming systems.
We recently reviewed the Evolv ITX and it’s certainly a fun case to have and to use, but now it’s going to be just that little bit better. The latest model comes with a black and red trim that gives it some extra visual flair. While I must admit that black and red has been virtually done to death in the PC gaming component market, with every brand around having products with these colours, it does still look pretty decent and when you colour match it with your chassis like this, it’s going to look even better.
The feature set is the same as original Enthoo Evolv ITX, so nothing to report there, but reports suggest it’ll be hitting the market this month! So keep an eye out for it at your local retailer.
What do you think of the latest colour scheme from Phanteks? Is this a chassis you’ll be using for your next build? Let us know in the comments section below.
SilverStone released quite a few great looking cases recently, such as the Milo ML06 chassis that we recently reviewed here at eTeknix, and now they are ready with yet another great looking mini-ITX chassis called the Milo ML08.
Milo ML08 is based on the Raven Z RVZ02 chassis, but with a more living-room approved design that reminds of a console rather than a PC case. The tiny chassis has a 12-liter volume, yet you’re able to mount quite a bit hardware inside of it.
Dual-slot graphics cards with a length of up to 13 inches can be used in this system, allowing you to build enough power into the tiny chassis. As mentioned, it takes mITX motherboards and you’ll need an SFX power supply too. Inside it features a 2-chamber design that helps to keep vital parts separated from excessive heat from other components. Both the CPU and the graphics card, which are the two biggest heat sources in a system, each have their own airflow path.
If you’d like to take your compact system with you where ever you go, then you might want to opt for the expanded model called the ML08B-H. This model also features a removable carrying handle.
Both versions of the chassis are available now and the recommended end user price, excl. VAT, is set to 93.48 USD for the ML08B and 106.68 USD for the ML08B-H.
Lian Li continues their small form factor line-up with a new space efficient addition, the PCQ10WX. It is a mini-ITX chassis built from the usual brushed-aluminium we are used to from Lian Li, but this time it comes with a transparent wall made from acrylic. After all, just because you are building a small rig, doesn’t mean that you don’t want to show it off.
The Lian Li PCQ10WX offers plenty of space for your hardware despite its small measurements of 207 x 277 x 335 mm. You can add up to two 3.5-inch or three 2.5-inch drives as well as a slim optical disc drive. If you shouldn’t need the ODD, you can another 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch driver instead.
The chassis supports default sized ATX power supplies with a length of up to 150mm, so there is no need to opt for an SFX PSU here. Dual-slot graphics cards with up to 270mm and CPU coolers up to 140mm are also supported.
There is even space for a 240mm radiator at the top of the chassis and you can mount a 120mm at the rear. That should allow for plenty of cooling, even for high-end gaming rigs. And with the small size and a weight of just 2.3KG, it’s also highly portable.
The PC-Q10WX will be available for £109.90 in the UK at early October at Overclockers. That is a pretty hefty price for such a small chassis and whether its worth it to you or not is down to personal preference, taste, and wealth.
Silverstone is one of the most recognisable chassis brands on the market, which comes as no surprise given that they seem to launch more products per year than virtually any other manufacturer. The Sugo series of chassis has long been a success, something that’s no doubt obvious given that the model we have at our disposal today is the twelfth iteration, the Sugo SG12.
The SG12 keeps many of the design features and specifications of its more recent siblings, with a newly revised front panel that’s more practical than most, room for large graphics cards, an optical drive, an incredible amount of storage drives and a full ATX PSU; this may be a fairly small chassis, but it’ll give some mid-towers a run for their money in terms of specifications.
In the box, you won’t find a huge amount of extras, but there is enough screws to get all your hardware installed, a few cable tidies and a handy owners manual to guide you through the chassis’ capabilities.
Now onto the good stuff! The chassis comes with plenty of ventilation for your components, vital given it can hold so much in a compact space. There’s a long ventilated section on the left, which would be idea for feeding your GPU with cool air, although there’s no dust filter, so you may need to give it a clean a little more often.
The right side panel also has a long ventilated section, but also a slightly large bit towards the front, behind which you’ll find a 120mm fan for cooling the many hard drive bays at the front.
Since it’s the front of the chassis you’ll likely be viewing the most, I’m happy to see that Silverstone have treated it with a brushed aluminium front panel, as well as a very sturdy blue aluminium handle.
The handle isn’t just for show either, you can easily pick up the system with it, meaning lugging it from one LAN party to the next can be done with one hand. The front panel has all the usual power buttons, as well as a pair of USB 3.0 and audio ports. You’ll also find a 5.25″ drive bay, handy for use with an optical drive, fan controller, card reader, etc.
Around the back, you’ll notice that the left, top and right side panels are infact a single piece, which is held in place by three screws at the back of the chassis. There’s an ATX PSU mount at the top, as well as room for a mini-ITX or Micro-ATX motherboard in the bottom.
There’s not much to see on the top, other than the two bits of ventilation for the optional 80mm fans.
There’s not really a lot to see on the base, but there’s four firm rubber grips that will prevent it sliding around your desk or AV stand.
Later today, AMD is expected to finally launch their much-anticipated R9 Nano GPU. Based off of the full Fiji die, the small form factor card will be a sure hit with the HTPC crowd. Having already had some of their slides with benchmarks and images of the card leak, we’re now getting word on the pricing situation. According a report, AMD is setting the price pretty high, with the Nano set to launch with an MSRP of $649 USD. Keep in mind that this is still unconfirmed right now and AMD may yet launch the card at a different price.
To put that in perspective, the R9 Fury, with a slightly higher clocked but gimped Fiji comes in at $549 while the full Fiji flagship R9 Fury X costs about $649. This puts the R9 Nano in a tough spot despite having a full Fiji. Even with similar top clocks as the Fury X, the Nano is still limited by its cooling, 42dB sound rating and its 75C temperature target. This means the Nano will probably perform closer to the vanilla Fury. Against the green side, the Nano does offer 30% more performance than the competing SFF GTX 970, but will set you back double the price.
With those numbers in mind, it really seems that AMD wants to maintain their margins on the Fiji die and HBM. The serious binning they are doing to get such efficient chips also means the Nano is a rarity. The biggest question is whether or not users are willing shell out top cash to get the fastest and most efficient mini-ITX card on the market or will they simply settle for something else. At this price though, there is little chance the Nano will cannibalize the Fury’s so AMD has at least got that covered.
Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information
Just a few months ago, we took a look at the rather fantastic and affordable Antec ISK-110, which features a 90w built-in PSU and room for a mini-ITX motherboard. It was perfect for mounting on the back of your monitor, making it a very compact and space-saving desktop system that is ideal for offices; I should know, I’m using one for my spare workstation and it’s brilliant! Today we’ll be taking a look at something a little higher up the price and specification range, the Antec ISK 310-150, much like its little brother, it comes with support for a mini-ITX motherboard and it’s fairly small, although still bigger than the ISK110. It also features a built-in PSU, but the maximum power has been upped to 150w, giving you much more headroom for a high-end CPU or APU based system.
“Mini-ITX is the next “big” thing. And now, Antec introduces the ISK 310-150, designed exclusively for Mini-ITX motherboards. With three drive bays, a quiet 80mm TriCool fan, and a 150-watt power supply, the ISK 310-150 can handle many of the tasks of a traditional PC, in a fraction of the space. Plus, its stylish, silver front bezel will fit in perfectly with your existing multimedia components. From petite desktop options to silent home theater, Antec’s ISK 310-150 is an epic case of mini proportions.”
As you can see from the specifications, it’s not the most capable chassis in the world, but it is quite a compact design after all. There’s room for a few hard drives, a slim ODD and you’ll certainly want a low-profile (or stock) CPU cooler.
The chassis comes bundled with quite a few accessories to get all your components installed, with screws, cable ties, power cable and one of the cooler parts, a vertical desktop mount.
The ISK310-350 is pretty heavy, that much is immediately apparent when you take it out of the box and this is due in no small part to the built-in and pre-installed PSU. There’s a good amount of ventilation down the left side, and even a little extra on top to help keep things cool.
Down the right side, we’ve got even more ventilation, as well as a pre-installed 80mm TriCool fan. This fan is connected to a three-speed fan controller on the rear of the chassis.
The front panel is easily the star of the show, a thick piece of aluminum and while that does add extra weight, it adds a lot more to the overall appeal. There’s a range of connectors on the front, covering all the basics, a nicely designed power button and a slim ODD drive bay (drive not included) with a flip down front, helping to maintain those clean front panel looks.
To the rear, you’ll find that three-speed fan controller, with room for another should you install an additional TriCool fan (sold separately). There’s a 3-pin power connector for the included power cable and of course, the motherboard I/O cut-out, with room for a half-width expansion card.
Users have long been chiming for a smaller form factor smaller than the current mini-ITX. Intel does have the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) and other vendors have their solutions. Most of these are quite limited in upgradeability and tend to have few if any expansion slots, limiting functionality. In response to this Intel is launching an all new form factor, dubbed “5×5”.
Revealed at IDF, the 5×5 will measure 140mm x 148mm, which is 5.5”×5.8”, making the 5×5 more of a 6×6 really. Being 30% smaller than mini-ITX, the 5×5 will also feature a fixed CPU position and more importantly, support LGA CPUs. Intel is planning to support i3, i5 and i7 CPUs right from the start with integrated graphics. The 5×5 will have uniform CPU and board mounting holes and will support CPUs from 35 to 65W TDP. The platform can probably go lower, but Intel probably doesn’t have plans for a sub 35W LGA chip.
Despite being more flexible than the NUC, discrete graphics won’t be supported as the z-height is targeting 39mm. There is a lot of other I/O though with 2 SO-DIMM slots, a M.2 SSD connector, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card port, a SATA port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 HDMI outputs and Gigabit Ethernet. While the boards will likely be sold standalone, Intel is hoping the chassis and the board will match up, providing a good combo for placing the heatsinks and 2.5″ drives.
Intel has not released any information yet about the expected launch for 5×5, but it probably isn’t far off. While integrated graphics can be limiting, a Skylake LGA chip with GT4 graphics and 128MB of eDRAM will make for a pretty strong small factor gaming rig. If Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 are supported in the future, external graphics might also be possible. Hopefully, Intel can get buy-in from motherboard makers. It will also be interesting to see if AMD will try to get into the game by offering their own 5×5 boards with APUs.
Lian Li has teamed up with ASUS’ ROG division and together they’ve created a unique and great looking Mini-ITX chassis. The new Lian Li case is dubbed the PC-Q17 and is designed to go well with the ROG Maximus Impact line of premium mini-ITX motherboards.
The small chassis has just as a unique shape on the outside as it has on the inside. The side panel is basically just one large piece of tempered glass while the rest of the case comes in Lian Li’s trademark aluminium with a brushed front. You’ll find two USB 3.0 port and audio jacks at the bottom of the case and not on the top as usual and that is because that’s where you can mount a slot-in optical drive and make it pop the disks directly up.
The top-mounted drive bay doesn’t just work for optical disk drives, it also works for 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch hard disk drives and solid state drives. Very few people still want to retain the optical drive, but most people would probably rather use it for a normal storage drive. The place behind the ODD bay is designated for the power supply and that also explains why the bay is upwards. The PC-Q17 uses a default ATX power supply that can be up to 150mm long.
Speaking of storage, there are plenty of options to put your 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch storage drives in this tiny Lian Li PC-Q17 chassis. You can mount two 3.5-inch drives at the bottom of the chassis, two 2.5-inch drives on the side of the PSU and one 2.5-inch on the bottom of it.
The motherboard tray has a large cut-out for easy assembly and maintenance. There is clearance for GPUs with a length up to 270mm and CPU coolers up to 140mm. These are values that you should watch carefully when building in a case like this. Nothing worse than ordering a fancy GTX 980 Ti card, only to find out that it doesn’t fit into the chassis.
There isn’t much room left on the insides for liquid cooling, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible. The top panel can take up to 240mm radiator that will be mounted on the outside of the chassis. A clever design also allows AIO coolers to be used, just remove the top plate and the tubing can be passed through.
The Lian Li ROG chassis measures just 201 mm x 407 mm x 276 mm (WxDxH) and weights 2.7 kg empty. Pricing and availability weren’t announced at this time.
Thank You TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Cougar has been launching some pretty incredible products recently, from their stunning range of gaming peripherals, which includes great keyboards and mice, as well as their chassis products. Today we’ve got their latest mini-ITX chassis, the QBX and it promises to be a competitive gaming chassis for the small form factor market.
There’s a lot of demand for small chassis these days, especially with the rise in popularity of LAN gaming events. Then you’ve got people like myself who have a smaller system in the extra room to work on quietly, space is limited there, so a compact desktop system comes in handy. Let’s not forget the “smart TV” HTPC style systems that are growing in popularity, especially for those who want to take PC gaming to the big screen, so there’s certainly a lot of scope for a compact chassis that can still hold some great hardware.
The QBX comes bundled with all of the screws and fittings you’ll need, as well as a screw in mesh for one of the extra fan mounts; nothing fancy, but it’ll get us through the build.
This is a really nice looking chassis, it’s got a huge amount of ventilation down the left side, perfect for getting airflow to your hardware and keeping temperatures down, but it’s going to play hell with acoustics, so think carefully before you buy a cheap graphics card with a blower type cooler.
The right side panel is the same design, giving the chassis a nice uniform look from both sides, making it easier to place at either side of your desk without having to look at what most chassis have; a boring side.
The front panel is pretty simple, just the cougar logo at the bottom, but the lightly textured plastic panels are rather pleasing on the eye, at least about as much as plastic can.
Tuck up behind the front panel, you’ll find a slot-loading ODD bay although the drive its self isn’t included; the bay is a little hidden by default.
The top panel can be slid back easily enough, giving you access to the drive slot; a nice way of having it accessible without breaking up the clean exterior design of the chassis.
Just behind the front panel, you’ll find the main I/O. It features the usual power controls, USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks, pretty standard stuff, but it’s good to have it all within easy reach.
The PSU is mounted towards the front of the QBX, so there’s a cable pass-through built into the rear of the chassis to help accommodate this.
The base of the chassis is really sturdy and has two full-length feet with rubber grips, giving the QBX great balance. One cool benefit of this design is that the chassis has good ground clearance for airflow and there is a large slide-out and washable dust filter to help provide clean airflow to your components.
A few months ago, I reviewed the gorgeous Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Micro-Tower Chassis and I loved it enough to award it with our Editors Choice Award. This week, we’ve gone a lot further up the Phanteks range, to take a look at their mighty Mini XL Now, the world mini might not imply that this is a big chassis, but it certainly isn’t mini at all, and we’ll show you why that is in just a moment.
Enthoo Mini XL includes 2 x 140mm fan in front and 1 x 140mm fan in the rear. Ability to upgrade to additional fans is possible. All fans included are Phanteks’ new redesigned and better performing SP series fans.
Sandblasted aluminum faceplates with matte finish
Multi-color LED light strips
Stealth interior design
Extreme cooling capacity
Support for up to 14x 120mm / 8x 140mm
Comes with 3 Phanteks premium fans
PWM fan hub plus 2x y-splitters allow for 8 fan connections* (11 fans max with additional y-splitters sold separately)
Extensive water cooling support. Provides up to 5 different installation areas for slim and thick radiators varying from single to triple (120mm and 140mm form factors). Clearance for push-pull fan configurations.
Dual removable harddrive cages
2x removable Drop-N-Lock SSD brackets
Fully equipped with dustfilters (1x top, 1x front, 2x bottom)
Removable top panel for easy fan installation and dust filter cleaning
Compartment for fan installation in top panel
Clean cable management using Phanteks’ preinstalled Hoop-N-Loop cable ties
Mod friendly structure uses screws NOT rivets
10 color ambient lighting controller
2x USB 3.0, microphone, 3.5mm audio jack
The Mini XL comes with support for Micro-ATX motherboards, despite being a little bigger than most mid-towers and almost as tall as some full-towers. It also comes with support, through the purchase of some additional brackets which I have at my disposal today, for mini-ITX motherboards. What’s important to mention is that this isn’t an either-or situation, as it’ll support both a Micro-ATX and a Mini-ITX motherboard simultaneously!
“The MINI XL introduces a new form factor, super micro ATX. With its unique power supply location, the Mini XL case has been redesigned with optimal cooling in mind. Resembling the Enthoo Primo, it offers extensive water-cooling possibilities and supports the thickest radiators in the market (80mm). The case brings modularity to a new level. Almost every single panel or bracket can be removed or relocated to serve different purposes. For the ones who desire even more, the Mini XL leaves options for additional upgrades. Pherhaps the most interesting one is the possibility to transform the MINI XL into a dual motherboard system.” –Phanteks
One of the biggest features of this chassis is its water cooling support and the best way to demonstrate this would be the video below. It’s obvious that water cooling enthusiasts are going to love this chassis!
In the box, you get everything you need to get you started, from hard drive and water cooling adaptor brackets, as well as a lovely mini component box for all the screws you’re ever likely to require.
First things first, I’m pretty sure this chassis is coated in some kind of military grade paint used for stealth jets. In a well-lit room with a camera flash for extra light, it still manages to look dark black; that’s not a bad thing, but it’s terrible for some of my photographs. The left side panel features two windows, the larger one on the left, then a smaller one on the right to show off two extra SSD mounts and the Phanteks logo on the inside of the chassis; a great way to show off your fancy SSDs.
The right side panel comes with two ventilated sections with magnetic dust filters on the interior. The one near the front can be used for cooling fans or radiators, or just passive cooling for the hard drive bays dependent on your internal configuration of choice. The section at the rear is for the PSU, which is side mounted in the top right of the chassis.
The front panel looks really cool, with a mixture of curved edges and bold shapes. You can see that the has an extended took to it, with the main section sort of floating from the bottom and right sides of the chassis, which comes with a ten colour LED light strip, further adding to that “floating” effect. This extended design means the chassis is quite wide, but that will help drastically with radiator support, as well as the dual motherboard configurations that are compatible.
Around the back, you’ll see all kinds of crazy things going on. There’s a PSU mount in the top left corner, a universal 120/140mm spacing fan and radiator mount on the right, then down at the bottom you have your Micro-ATX motherboard mounting. Now, it’s worth mentioning that the radiator panel as well as the small panel in the bottom right corner can be unscrewed completely, lifted out of the chassis and replaced with an alternative panel to allow you to install an SFX PSU and Mini-ITX motherboard on top of all the usual hardware; don’t worry, we’ll be doing that shortly.
The top panel is vast, allowing huge amounts of ventilated airflow for a wide range of fan and radiator configurations as you saw in the video at the start of this review.
The front panel is tucked to the right side of the top of the chassis and comes with the usual power controls, two USB 3.0 ports and HD Audio jacks.
Instead of smaller feet, the chassis has two long feet that run the full length of the chassis, giving it extra stability; There are six tough rubber pads to help keep it firmly planted on your surface of choice. There are two dust filters that cover the full length of the chassis, and what’s really nice is that these filters can be removed from the left side of the chassis, making maintenance a much easier task.
Chillblast gave us a friendly poke to see if we were interested in taking a look at one of their mini-itx gaming range. As I am mainly used to dealing with hulking gaming monsters which are show-pieces never to be moved, I was quite interested to see what offerings are available in terms of portable PCs of tiny small form factor, and finding out if they’re actually worth it or not.
Having a brief look over the spec sheet revealed on paper at least, that this seemed a fairly decent gaming rig, even touting an AIO liquid cooled CPU cooler. We’ve seen plenty of GTX 970s, 980s and even Titan Xs, but we’ve yet to try out the GTX960. Needless to say, we gratefully took Chillblast up on their offer and sure enough a fairly large yet light parcel turned up at eTeknix HQ.
Name: Chillblast Fusion Barbarian Gaming PC
Case: Raijintek Metis Windowed Mini ITX Case – Red – modified
Motherboard: Asus Z97I PLUS
Processor: Intel Core i5 4690K Devils Canyon overclocked to 4.3GHz
Graphics card: GTX 960 2GB based on the Maxwell Architecture
Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified PSU Modular Version
Optical Drive: None
Wireless: Asus A/C
Monitor: Not included
Peripherals: Not included
OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Warranty: 5 Year Warranty with 2 Years Collect and Return (UK only)
Price: £869.99as configured Delivered.
The outer box, sealed and in perfect condition, a good start!
Inside the outer box amongst a large amount of paper padding on all sides we have a smaller box and a case box.
The much smaller Raijintek case box
In the side box, we have the external magnetic Asus Wi-Fi antennae, extra modular power cables, kettle power lead, PCIE blanking plates, motherboard sound speaker and various manuals and drivers discs.
Removing the rig from its case showed that extra care had been given to the components inside the case, nice.
Aindees may not be the first name you think of when you go shopping for a new chassis, but we’ve seen a few of their products in the past and we’ve certainly been impressed by their build quality, features and competitive pricing. Their latest chassis, the dual chamber Micro-ATX AI-07M, promises to be a versatile solution that needs a compact system, but still have enough room for many of today’s high-end components such as long graphics cards, lots of storage and water cooling.
Dual chamber design divides hot running components, one chamber deliver cooler air to MB, CPU, GPU, another one for HDD and PSU.
Chassis comes with four 120mm led fans in the front and also can be upgraded with several additional fans if needed.
Featuring several options for placing water cooling, providing excellent cooling solutions.
Support max 3* 240 Rad and 1 * 120 Rad.
Quiet operation with 200mm fan in the front. (Optional)
Support ATX, m-ATX, and Mini-ITX
Cable management and CPU retaining hole for easy maintenance.
Supports 1 * 5.25″, 4 * 3.5″ or 5 * 2.5″ devices ( 4 * 2.5″ convert from 3.5″ cage)
Air cooling support up to 8 x120mm fans plus 1x90mm in the rear side
Compact size with 41.5L
Support USB 3.0*2, USB 2.0*2 in the front, Audio*1, Mic*1
Mesh bezel provides maximum air flow.
Removable mesh top cover
Dust filters in the front, top, bottom and side panel.
Fan Hub and Fan Controller add on shipment from 15.03.2015
The AI-07 is available in four variants, black, white and a windowless or windowed version of each colour. It comes with all the usual bells and whistles you would expect from a modern chassis, such as USB 3.0 support, tool free storage bays, lots of GPU and CPU cooler clearance and more.
Out of the box, the chassis certainly looks great, with a huge side panel window showing off the chassis interior and that little Anidees logo on the bottom right corner.
The right side panel has a large ventilation cut-out on it, this will allow airflow to the PSU and it comes with a magnetic dust filter on the interior, but we’ll see that better in a moment.
The front panel is packed full of features, with the 5.25″ drive bay and the power controls at the top, four USB ports, HD audio ports and most importantly, that massive filtered ventilation panel, behind which you’ll find a 200mm blue LED fan pre-installed; great for lots of airflow at low RPM.
The back of the chassis isn’t exactly lacking in feature either! In the top left corner is a small fan control switch, which connects to an interior fan hub. It features three settings; low, medium and high. In the top right there’s a pair of water/cable routing grommets. Further down you’ll find a 120/140mm fan mount, with a 140mm fan pre-installed, five expansion slots, the PSU mount and another 120/140mm fan mount with another 140mm fan pre-installed. You’ll also notice three thumb screws across the middle, these are used to detach the motherboard tray, which can be completely removed should you feel the need.
The top panel has a fan/radiator mount with an externally mounted dust/debris filter.
Behind the cover, you’ll find dual 120/140mm fan mounts, which could also be used for radiators, dependent on your system configuration.
The base of the chassis has more thumb screws, which can be used to fully remove the other interior components of the chassis, such as the hard drive bays, making the chassis mod friendly.
Today is a special day, as it’s the first time we’ve featured Element Gaming on eTeknix! This won’t come as much of a surprise to Element Gaming though, as they’re a relatively new brand, but they’ve already launched a wide range of gaming peripherals and chassis products to market, so we thought it would be great to see what all the fuss is about!
“Built from aluminium, steel and acrylic this high-quality case is ideal for small form factor enthusiasts. Specifically designed for ITX system boards the case nevertheless has enough room to build a high spec PC. Fast USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports along with audio inputs are positioned on the top of the case with the on/off button to the front. The rear of the Atomic has two PCI expansion ports whilst internally there is a 3.5” HD bay or room for two 2.5” SSDs. The case supports 120mm radiators and a 120mm LED fan is mounted to the rear. There is also support for 265mm VGA card and 165mm CPU cooler. As an added feature the right panel is made from clear acrylic to allow viewing of the components and the lit fan.”
The case couldn’t be better timed, as more and more people are building ultra-compact gaming systems and with more graphics cards manufacturers now making ITX graphics cards, as well as some incredible Mini-ITX motherboards hitting the market in recent years, a powerful gaming system doesn’t need to be in a mid or full tower form factor anymore.
As you can see from the features, the Element Gaming Atomic ticks a lot of boxes. It may be small, but it can fit all the hardware you’ll likely need.
Aluminium and acrylic construction
Suitable for ITX system board
1 x 120mm LED fan included
Support for 120mm radiators
Supports 265mm VGA card and 165mm CPU cooler
Internal drive bays – 1 x 3.5″ HD and 2 x 2.5″ SSD or 1 x 3.5″ HD
2 x PCI expansion slots
1 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
2 x audio
1 x 120mm rear mounted fan
The Atomic is super compact, but first impressions of it are very good indeed. The main panels of the chassis are black brushed aluminium with a little silver trim on the edges of the front panel. It’s lightweight and looks absolutely gorgeous. The left side panel is held in place with four screws, whilst also featuring a full-width dark tinted side panel window.
The side panel window matches up with the glossy plastic section on the front panel, giving it a nice wrap-around effect. Finishing up the front panel is a nice power button in the top center, as well as some Element Gaming branding.
The right side panel is the same design as the left, more screws and another full-width window panel, giving the chassis a nice symmetrical look.
The top panel features more aluminium, which has curved edges, giving the Atomic a sleek and modern look.
There’s not a huge amount of ports at the front, but there’s everything you’re likely to need; USB 3.0, HD audio and USB 2.0.
Here you can see that the motherboard is mounted upside down, which means the GPU will be at the top of the chassis. There’s a power connector at the back, which uses a pass-through cable to hook up the PSU, which mounts towards the front of the chassis.
The base of the Atomic features four rubber tipped feet; these will stop the chassis sliding around should you have it up on your desk. There’s a few mounting holes in the base for fitting hard drives to the chassis interior and, of course, there is a large cut-out for the PSU.
Xigmatek is well known for their funky PC chassis designs and today seems like it will be no exception to that. Their latest chassis, the Octans, is designed for the mini-ITX gaming market. There’s a lot of demand out there right now for smaller chassis, that are still just that little bit bigger, suitable for those that still want high-end graphics cards and other gaming hardware, but in a form factor that’s not too difficult to pick up and transport; a popular requirement for those who visit LAN gaming events.
As you can see from the specifications below, the Octans comes equipped with support for ATX and SFX power supplies, a few hard drives, 300mm graphics cards, 140mm tall CPU coolers and a mini-ITX motherboard; basically everything you’re likely to need for a compact gaming rig.
The Xigmatek Octans is certainly unique in terms of design, to my eyes, it looks like a bulky freighter from some obscure sci-fi series; not necessarily a bad thing. There are two ventilated sections on the left side panel, perfect for allowing airflow to your graphics card.
There’s even more ventilation on the top, which comes with a funky fin-style design.
all the usual buttons are on the top, as well as a pair of USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks.
The front panel certainly looks menacing! It’s slopes out at the bottom, giving the chassis a very unique appearance. There’s also a funky orange triangle with an LED light behind it for the power light.
From the right, the chassis looks the same as the left, with two more large ventilation section.
Around the back, you’ll notice eight thumbscrews, removing these allows you to quickly remove the top, sides and bottom panels. There’s a PSU passthrough cable/connector, as the PSU is mounted in the front of the chassis and you’ll also notice a small 80mm fan is pre-installed.
On the base of the chassis, there’s even more ventilation; certainly not going to be an issue with airflow here!
Silverstone are the masters of small form factor chassis designs, we’ve seen time and time again that they can deliver competitively priced products that meet consumer demands and in many cases, exceed them. Their SUGO series is one of their most popular series and as we’ve seen in previous reviews, it’s not hard to understand why. They often pack lots of high-end hardware, with little or no compromise, into a tiny form factor that makes them suitable for a wide range of applications. Naturally, I’m hoping and more so expecting a repeat of their past successes with the SUGO SST-SG11 which we are reviewing today.
The SG11 is one of the slightly larger chassis in the small form factor category, but it still carries that classic shoe-box style shape and its slightly larger size is for good reason; the SG11 is capable of housing a micro-ATX motherboard, as well as a full ATX PSU and plenty of other hardware. As you can see below, the long shape of the chassis provides us with space for lots of ventilation down the side; perfect for any long graphics cards. The SG11 will support cards as long as 368mm; very impressive for something of this size.
The right side features even more ventilation, the front most section for a pre-installed 120mm fan that will keep your hard drives cool and provide some air intake for the rest of your components, which the ventilation next to that is passive and will allow airflow to your motherboard and CPU components.
The front panel is really nicely finished. A pair of mirror finish strips give it a nice premium look and also give you a lovely look at the purple carpet I have in my office. This design is nice, as it’ll look great in the office, but also as part of your AV setup if you’re planning a HTPC-style build.
Tucked away at the top of the front panel, a rubber cover protects/hides the dual USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks. This is nice as it keeps the front looking smart when you’re not using them, but also helps keep dust and debris from gathering in the ports.
Around the back, you can see even more ventilation, there no doubt that you’ll have little issue getting air in and out of this chassis! There’s an ATX power supply mount with the motherboard mount directly below it. On the right, you’ll find four expansion slots, perfect for those wanting a dual-GPU setup and a Micro-ATX motherboard.
On the top of the chassis, you will find two more vents, behind which you can see mounts for two optional 80mm fans that would be situated directly above your expansion cards; this could be perfect for keeping your graphics cards cool.
There’s very little to see on the base, but what is nice is that the four feet have been treated with a rubber ring, which will help keep the chassis from sliding around on your chosen surface.
The Praevidi team just launched its first Kickstarter, a VR seating and movement controller that houses a Mini-ITX . The design allows the user to input movement controls with their body while keeping their hands free. The seat also has infinite rotation and with the PC in the seat that means that you won’t be tangling yourself in wires.
The Turris Kickstarter has Turris kits for as low as $475 with an estimated January 2016 delivery date. The video on the Kickstarter page does a great job explaining the concept behind the Turris.
The guys behind the Turris are industry vets and have done design and consulting work for plenty of VR companies like Seebright, Virtuix, AboutFace, and Sixense. The design is really a great concept for keeping untangled in the current wired VR gear, and having another movement input is icing on the cake. The seat has been made to be tuneable for individuals since we are not all the same.
Having known both Simon and Aaron for a few years I took some time to ask them about the Turris.
Simon said “Aaron has been working on seating for 20 years and we began collaborating first on extreme overclocking and then on virtual reality. Together we conceived of the Turris as a systems approach to the ergonomic and motion control challenges of VR. This is a complex piece of hardware that solves many problems at once. And it’s the best excuse to build a VR rig.”
I also spoke with Aaron about the Turris and asked what the biggest engineering challenge was. He said it was finding where the pivots would be for the proper motion of the seat, and that process lead to a tunable design. He also said that one of the biggest challenges going forward is cost reduction to help them bring down the cost of units, making them more affordable to consumers.
The Turris will be American made and will use parts from the US, with a small amount of electronics coming from overseas.
The Antec ISK series has long been a favorite of mine. Sure we sometimes need high-end full towers, capable of housing epic gaming systems, but there’s a high demand for compact and efficient systems in the home and the office; something the ISK series is well suited to. The model we’re looking at today certainly is targeted more at the professional market, with many applications from digital signage and office systems, but there’s certainly no reason why you wouldn’t find a use for a chassis like this as a HTPC, space-saving system or more.
As you can see, the ISK110 comes equipped with a nice little bundle of screws, but more importantly, an external power supply adaptor. The ISK110 is capable of powering a system of up to 90w, which may not sound a lot, but given the low power requirements of 2.5″ drives and modern processors such as Haswell, it’s a lot more than it sounds; this is especially true given that this chassis will not house a graphics card.
Given the compact nature of the chassis, this is all the power cables you’ll need on the interior. A single cable attached to the PSU PCB on the interior of the chassis, as has your standard motherboard and CPU power cables, as well as a couple of SATA connectors and a single MOLEX.
Also included in the box, you’ll find this metal VESA mount, giving you the option to fit the entire chassis onto the back of a VESA-compatible display; this could save you a lot of space on your desktop.
Further mounting options are provided via this lovely vertical mount, which provides a stable base for the chassis should you want to stand it upright on its side.
It’s got a few rubber grips on the base and just like the VESA mount, it simply clips onto the base of the chassis.
The chassis its self is nice and compact. Overall, it’s not much bigger than a mini-ITX motherboard and not that much thicker either; there should be just enough room for a low-profile CPU cooler in here.
There’s loads of ventilation in the top section and a little extra on the base to help keep things cool.
The front panel is nicely equipped with four USB 2.0 ports, HD audio jacks, two LED indicators and, of course, the power button.
Around the back, there’s a snap-off mini-ITX cover and a small power port. You’ll also notice two screws in the top panel and two more in the bottom, these are all that is needed to remove either panel.
The base and top section of the chassis, or the left and right side depending on your chosen orientation, has a little more ventilation. There’s also some holes to mount the VESA or vertical mount on the left/bottom side.
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of Habey before, most people haven’t. They have however been in the business for quite some time and probably longer than some of our readers have been alive, so they know a thing or two about creating solutions for embedded and small form factor systems. Their newest product, the mini-ITX motherboard dubbed the MITX-6670 is somewhat of a swiss army knife of the small form factor with a lot of onboard functions and even more upgrade functions.
As a base, you’ll get a mini-ITX motherboard with a passive cooled Intel Baytrail quad-core J1900 processor running at 2.4GHz and two SO-DIMM slots for up to 8GB total DDR3 memory. There are two onboard Intel LAN port and there is an onboard header for an optional POE module. You can connect two SATA drives or two mSATA drives, but not both at once. The selection is made by jumper and one of the mSATA ports support full size where the other only allows half-size mini-PCIe.
But it doesn’t stop here as you can customize even more. There is a default PCIe x1 slot, but the really cool feature is the onboard header that allows you to expand with what you, may it be an extra HDMI port or a DisplayPort connector instead.
The built-in iGPU supports HD resolutions and the Realtek ALC892 chip powers the audio part. There’s also support for a Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) and you can even insert a sim card for 3G, 4G, and LTE connectivity.
Dual Intel I210/I211 Gigabit EthereEthernet
Built-in Ethernet port pin-header ready for POE (Power over Ethernet) setup
HDMI + VGA and LVDS/HDMI/DP/eDP add-on interface card options
Dual mSATA SSD support with easy jumper selection
Build-in Inﬁneon Trusted Platform Module and 8-bit GPIO
Realtek ALC892 high-performance 7.1-channel HD Audio
Low power, fanless passively cooling
Habey’s MITX-6770 has a manufacturer suggested retail price starting at $159, which actually isn’t much considering the features you get and compared to other available boards with fewer features and functions.